How to take stunning fireworks photos with the ASUS ZenFone 4

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Whether it’s a New Years Eve extravaganza in the city or a festive party in the countryside, there are few things quite as spectacular as a beautiful fireworks display lighting up the night sky. However, when you try to capture it on your phone camera, the images usually turn out more disappointing than dazzling, with slow focus, blinding flash, and small sensors all causing problems. Fortunately, the new features of the ASUS ZenFone 4 mean blurry firework shots will soon be a thing of the past. Here, we look at some top tips for taking the ultimate fireworks photos at your next display.

Check your memory card

Before you head out, check how much space is available on your phone’s memory card—the last thing you want is to have to be checking and deleting photos in the middle of the display! Make sure there’s enough room to store plenty of high-quality images so you can keep shooting throughout. Why not leave some space for videos too? With 64GB of internal storage on the ASUS ZenFone 4, you won’t have any problems when it comes to storing all of your firework footage.

Think about the framing

While plenty of fireworks look amazing as a closely-cropped feature shot (spinners, willows and sparklers, we’re looking at you!) others are far more spectacular when seen as a group—particularly if they’re filling the sky. With two rear cameras on the ASUS ZenFone 4 giving you the option for both regular 25mm and wide-angle 12mm photos as well as a range of different shooting modes, you can shoot like a pro by switching instantly between the two cameras to capture both individual fireworks, and the whole night sky.

Plan your location

As well as finding the perfect spot to view the display, try to stand somewhere away from other sources of light, as these will affect your photo and minimize the contrast brightness of the fireworks in your photos. Avoid standing next to well-lit buildings or street lamps, and make sure you’ve got good visibility of the sky above before the show kicks off. Check to see if you’re close to a bonfire too, as the clouds of smoke may affect your photo if it’s a windy evening.

Use a landmark

Alternatively, if you’re in the middle of the city and can’t avoid light sources, try to incorporate buildings or landmarks into your fireworks shot. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a fireworks display behind a palace, reflected into a lake or even above the Eiffel Tower, you’ll know that the comparison between landmarks and the sparkling sky can often look amazing. To get the most out of this shot, use the second rear camera with its 12mm wide-angle lens to fit in as much of the image as possible. Auto mode will let the camera adapt to your night-time surroundings, but if you know your ISO from your shutter speed, why not play around with the options offered by manual mode to get some truly impressive light effects across the dark sky?

Try longer exposures

Avoiding flash and using a longer exposure is the best way to get stunning photos at night, but even with the right settings wobbly hands and movement can make it tricky to get sharp, focused images. Try using the first rear camera on Manual Mode for up to 32s long exposure to truly capture the light streaking through the sky, or take advantage of the speedy 0.03 second autofocus time to get fireworks mid-burst. Using a pocket tripod such as the ZenTripod can also help keep the camera steady at opportune moments—or during an impressive fireworks display live stream!